The fact of the matter is, breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep, you may be suffering from sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can impact your health and quality of life; symptoms that alert most people to the condition are snoring, restless sleep patterns and daytime sleepiness. If you’ve been noticing these symptoms lately, or have even confirmed you have sleep apnea, you might be wondering ….
Will sleep apnea go away on its own?
Before we answer your question, let’s take a dive into the most common causes of sleep apnea to further understand the condition.
The Underlying Causes of Sleep Apnea
Nasal airflow equates to good breathing. It sounds simple, but if the nasal septum is crooked, obstructed or narrowed, the mouth opens during sleep in order to take in more oxygen. When your brain and body become oxygen deprived you may wake up a few times a night, or in severe cases, several hundred times per night. Sleep apnea becomes an ongoing condition and although nasal obstruction doesn’t directly cause sleep apnea, there is a definite link between nasal septum deviation and sleep breathing disorders such as snoring and apnea.
The link between excess weight and sleep apnea is well established. Extra tissue in the back of the throat can fall down over the airway and block the flow of air. If untreated, continual sleep apnea can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma and cancer. Losing weight can be helpful in decreasing sleep apnea and depending on the individual, symptoms can sometimes be eliminated with weight loss.
The structure of the jaw or having excess tissue in the throat near the airway opening are examples of physiological conditions that can cause sleep apnea. Oral appliances that hold the lower jaw down and forward, while holding the tongue away from the airway, may be helpful forms of treatment. Sometimes surgery may be recommended; tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies, nasal surgery or surgery on the tongue or jaw may be required to correct the problem.
Can Sleep Apnea Go Away On Its Own?
Unfortunately sleep apnea is a condition that doesn’t correct itself over time.
Mechanical measures such as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) may have to be implemented in order to reverse the symptoms and it may be necessary to try several interventions before finding a treatment that works.
Behavioral measures such as weight loss,decreasing alcohol consumption, side sleeping and exercise may be options that can be implemented as part of a lifestyle change or they may be combined with mechanical or surgical treatments.
Each individual is unique and finding the right treatment requires a thorough assessment by a professional. Sleep tests are used to diagnose sleep apnea and can determine whether the apnea is mild, moderate or severe.Test results are critical in developing an individual treatment plan and may include consultations with medical professionals such as ear, nose and throat specialists or cardiologists, and even a Careica Health clinic.
Discovering the right treatment for sleep apnea is a process that includes many facets; taking a sleep study quiz can be the first step in identifying whether or not you are at risk for the condition.
If you think you have this treatable disorder, we encourage you to book an appointment today and start your transformative journey!